Like most Bear fans I am nervous about Jordan Palmer being the primary back up at QB. Jay Cutler missed at least one game in each of the last four seasons, so the odds are high that the Bears back-up is going to have to play a bit in 2014. Jordan Palmer has only taken 28 snaps in the NFL, so he is an unknown asset and I’ve hoped the Bears would sign someone with more experience this off-season. Josh Freeman has been near the top of my list of potential back-ups because I think he has the most upside of any free agent QB. After the job Marc Trestman did with journeyman QB Josh McCown, I would be excited to see what he could do with someone as talented as Freeman.
It’s hard to believe that a guy who made the Pro Bowl in his first full season as a starter at age 22 is on the QB scrap heap just four years later. After throwing 25 TD passes and only 6 INT in 2010, it looked like the Bucs had found one of the next great QBs. His follow-up season was a bust, he did throw for more yards and had a better completion percentage than the year before, but threw 22 INTs and only 16 TDs. Freeman bounced back in 2012 with over 4,000 yards passing and a 27 TD / 17 INT ratio. Not a bad year for a 24-year-old OB right? Freeman got off to a rough start last season, feuded with cave-man coach Greg Schiano, and then was benched after only 3 games. So to recap, in three seasons as a starter Freeman had one great year, one good year, and one bad year. Freeman is only 26, why has everyone given up on this guy already? Freeman’s 1-game stint with the Vikings was terrible last year, but he only had a week and a half to learn the playbook and it’s not like any other QBs had success under that coaching staff either.
Marc Trestman could be just what Freeman needs to get his career straightened out. If the “QB Whisperer” can get Freeman playing like he did in 2011, the Bears would have a solid back-up and a valuable trade chip next off-season. Freeman in infinitely more talented than Jordan Palmer and if Trestman is as good with QBs as rumored, then Freeman joining the Bears could be beneficial for both parties.